European Capitals of Culture: managing multilingual digital marketing

 eu2014Managing communication in more than one language via digital media is more than just putting a language flag in the corner of a website. European Capitals of Culture are increasingly engaging in   multilingual digital marketing, making decisions about which languages to use and which media to use them in. As preparation begins in earnest for Aarhus2017, there are some great examples of what Aarhus can aspire to in terms of multilingual marketing and  use of social media. 

The current Capitals of Culture have chosen to address these challenges in different ways and a comparison of them highlights the complexity involved in managing a multilingual digital marketing mix.

Kosice, Slovakia 2013
Website languages: Slovak, Hungarian, English
Website content: Very similar content in all three languages with dynamic news, pictures and programme
Facebook: 2689 likes – posts and comments in Slovak only
Google+: 192 followers – posts in Slovak only

Marseille, France 2013
Website languages: French, English
Website content: Identical content in both languages with news, pictures and programme
Facebook: 127,000 likes – posts and comments in French only
Twitter: 10,900 followers – majority of tweets in French

Riga, Latvia 2014
Website languagues
: Latvian, Russian, English
Website content: Identical content in all three languages, with clear routes to volunteering and tourist information
Facebook: 4200 likes – posts in Latvian only
Twitter: 5280 followers – tweets in Latvian only

Umea, Sweden 2014
Website languages: Swedish and English, pdf brochures in German, French and Finnish
Website content: Similar style and feel on English website, but not identical content
Facebook: 3705 like –  Integrated use of Swedish and English posts
Twitter: 2393 followers – great mix of Swedish and English tweets
Instagram: 218 followers – pictures only, no language needed!

The highlights:

  • Each city has a high quality dynamic website in both host language and English.
  • Images and great photography feature strongly in all media.
  • Three of the four cities use social media ONLY in their host language.
  • Kosice is the only city not using Twitter.
  • Marseille is clearly ahead in the numbers engaging with their social media – in French.
  • In Riga, Twitter is ahead of Facebook in numbers of followers.
  • Umea effectively integrates Swedish and English on Facebook and Twitter, targeting both host and international audiences with social media.
  • Umea has the highest multilingual engagement (info in 5 languages) with a publicly available digital media strategy.

So what about Aarhus2017?  Aarhus has time on its side and lots to live up to……..looks like UMEA might be the ones to start following for inspiration!

How do you think Aarhus2017 should manage its multilingual digital marketing mix?


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